Anissa’s Story – Post #43 – High Hopes Thru Many Trials…

Medical marijuana (cannabis – CBD) was a controversial subject throughout 2014 in the state of Florida.  Since Anissa’s condition complied with the Doctrine of Medical Necessity, it was a year of experimenting with various strains of cannabis.

 Always on the first day of dosage, she would experience a positive sign of mental alertness.  By the second or third day, negative signs occurred with greater seizure activity which altered the uplift and created a more depressed state.  Evidently, the THC, which causes the hype, must be as low as 1% compared to a higher percentage of CBD as is used in the Charlotte’s Web formula to successfully treat children suffering with uncontrollable seizures.  

The designated legal care-grower supplying Anissa with the CBD said that seeds of the Charlotte’s Web strain were nearly impossible to find.   It was his opinion that breeders knew the value of those seeds so were limiting the release of such. Finally, in 2016, Charlotte’s Web was approved by Florida’s Governor and made available in mid-March for Anissa when the seeded plant was secured from a grower in California.

 It was a trial and error treatment throughout many months – always hoping for a positive breakthrough! After several weeks, when her seizures began to escalate in number and velocity, it was evident that much research needed to be done concerning adults suffering with LGS (Lennox Gastaut Syndrome), as compared with a child or adolescent.  One thing I have learned from personal afflictions, as well as from people coming for prayer at our Clinic, is that compassion for others is a key to healing.

“What a wonderful God we have – He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.  And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass onto them this same help and comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 TLB

Since it had been over nine years when Anissa had an MRI, I decided to start the process in June, 2016, for the scan be done.  Because she had to be anesthetized for the MRI, it required a doctor who could admit her to the hospital, so this meant changing to another neurologist.  Finally, the scan was ordered for December 28th which revealed the following :  The MRI was with and without contrast – a multiplanar imaging of the brain before and following the intravenous administration of 6ml of gadolinium.  IMPRESSION: No significant change since 6/01/2007. No acute intracranial abnormality visualized. Redemonstration of severe, diffuse cerebellar and vermian atrophy.

In other words, severe atrophy of Anissa’s cerebellum and vermis is most likely the cause of her unsteadiness of balance and need for assisted help in walking.  The neurologist prescribed an increase of the anti-seizure drug, Banzel (rufinamide), to 1200mg daily. The total number of various seizures that she experienced during that year was 1,113.  Absence seizures were not taken into account, but the Jackknife-Tonic-Psychomotor-Myoclonic totaled 1427  – which are the most violent with an increase in velocity, lasting 9 to 12 minutes duration.  

After being on the increase of Banzel for six months, uncontrollable seizures, one to two minutes apart, plus a grand mal erupted on June 30, 2017.  For the first time of Anissa’s life, she had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital where she was given an injection of Ativan. Upon discovering a dangerously low sodium level, due to the increase of Banzel, she received only saline solution with meds for several days, which also included 500mg Keppra (levetiracetam).  Anissa remained in a semi-coma state for several days but on the fourth day she came alive and was able to take pureed food by mouth.  She returned home on July 3rd and three days later, celebrated her 50th birthday – a Jubilee.  God’s timing is always perfect!  What a blessing it was to have my grandson come early for the Daytona 400 races.  He was a great help when the ambulance came for Anissa, as well as running errands while I stayed at the hospital.  Praise be to the faithfulness of our Lord and His Excellent Grace!

To contact Anissa’s mother email her at


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